Source: Sherman Publications

Varsity cheerleading team will create some Dragon thrills

August 27, 2014

By Katie Winkler

Review Staff Writer

With a new head coach, Nicole Hill, Lake Orion’s varsity cheerleading team is getting ready to for a new season of helping to create a great atmosphere at Dragon football games.

Hill had been assisting previous coach Nancy DeAvila for the last 10 years and has stepped up to the head coach position, making a few minor changes to the varsity cheer team. While past teams consisted of 30-plus athletes, this year’s sideline team has 27, ranging from three freshmen to eight seniors.

“You always start the year off thinking about things we could have done better last year. This year our focus is really getting our jumping and arm motions up to elite status because that was our weakness last year,” Hill said. “It should be an interesting mix.”

The smaller team this year was one of those decisions, along with new jump counts. Hill explained that the smaller team depended on tryout size and her decision in who to cut.

The cheerleaders returned from a three-day Champion Cheerleading “Beast” camp at Alma College last week.

They had a great camp and earned the “110%” award. They also had some good bonding time with each other.

“They had a strong showing so it was an overall success,” Hill said.

The official start of practices for all Michigan high school teams began Monday. The opening football game will be at Chippewa Valley High School on Thursday August 28 at 7 p.m.

After the first two weeks of practice, “we sort of switch gears and get ready for our pep-rally performance for Homecoming,” Hills said. “In that practice, we work on conditional, jumps and tumbling. So we are using the time effectively for our competitive season, in the winter.”

Even though the team has only been together for a few practices and camp, their strengths are showing through. They are emerging as a team that is very good at stunts, which are often pyramids or other types of skills in which the girls are high in the air.

“We are really great stunters, probably some of the best stunting groups in the state,” Hill said. “We have gone to a lot of stunt camps to help improve that. I definitely think that is our strength overall.”

Over the last few years, the cheerleaders have been executing what are called elite full-up stunts. Hill explained. “This is a stunt that the team expects of themselves.”

“We love the Dragons. Just being down on the track with such a great community, I’m looking forward to really getting back to working hard at practice and having fun,” Hill said. “They are all talented and really ready to work.”